Game Story: Red Sox beat Angels in 11, 4-2

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Game Story: Red Sox beat Angels in 11, 4-2

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

ANAHEIM, Calif -- For much of the night, the Red Sox couldn't buy a hit with runners in scoring position. Then, up came Adrian Gonzalez with runners on the corners and no out in the top of the 11th inning.

Gonzalez turned on a pitch and drove it into right field for a run-scoring double and Jed Lowrie later added a sacrifice fly, sending the Red Sox to a 4-2 road win over the Los Angeles Angels in Boston's first extra-inning contest this season.

The Sox had had numerous chances earlier, including two on and no out in the seventh, then loading the bases with one out in the eighth, but couldn't cash in. Until Gonzalez's at-bat, the Sox had been 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Bobby Jenks got the win with the save going to Jonthan Papelbon. Josh Beckett pitched a gem, allowing two runs on three hits over eight innings, but got a no-decision for his effort.

The Angels had pulled even in the seventh when Beckett made one of his few mistakes all night, leaving a 3-and-2 fastball over the middle of the plate to Torii Hunter, who drove a pitch out to straightaway center for a two-run homer.

The Sox had snapped a scoreless tie in the sixth when, after walks to Carl Crawford and Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury dropped a broken-bat bloop single into right field, scoring both baserunners.

Beckett didn't allow a hit until the sixth and threw 125 pitches, the second-highest total of his career.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Bogaerts hitting at a record-setting pace

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Bogaerts hitting at a record-setting pace

A change of scenery is a must for the Red Sox after the rough series in Texas, where they were lucky to walk away with one win.

The pitching staff's struggles were the most apparent, but Xander Bogaerts had arguably his worst series of the season -- 2-for-12 at the plate and two errors in the field.

Although Bogaerts now finds himself three points behind José Altuve (.347) for the American League batting lead, he still leads the major leagues with 108 hits. He has more hits than Daniel Murphy, who’s at .349 in the National League.

And despite his weekend struggles, the Boston shortstop is in position to make a run at history  -- the single-season hits record.

Bogaerts is already in a comfortable spot to break Wade Boggs’ Red Sox record of 240 hits, set in 1985. Through 74 games, Bogaerts has 10 more hits than the Hall-of-Famer had at that point in the season.

He's also ahead of the pace set in 2004 by Ichiro Suzuki, who established the MLB record for most hits in a season with 262 that year. Bogarts has five more hits than Ichiro had through 74 games.

There's no guarantee he'll reach 262, or anything close. Ichiro had a strong finishing kick in '04, batting .418 with 159 hits after his 74th game. In fact, in his final 74 games, he hit .433 with 141 hits. He's left challengers in the dust before: Altuve was equal to Ichiro's pace in 2014 -- both had 105 hits in their first 76 games -- but wound up with "only" 225 hits.

So, admittedly, Bogaerts is facing an uphill battle.

He does have a one advantage over Ichiro, though. In 2004, Suzuki -- still playing for the Mariners -- usually had Randy Winn hitting behind him. Although Winn was a respectable player, he doesn’t command the respect of the hitter who's usually behind Bogaerts: David Ortiz.

Opposing pitchers still don’t plan to attack Bogaerts, but it’d only be worse if pretty much anyone other than Ortiz was coming up next.

And there’s one last set of statistics to consider:

Suzuki finished 2004 with 80 games in which he had at least two hits. That’s 49.7 percent of the games he played in.

Bogaerts has done that 33 times -- 44.6 percent of his games. So he needs to string together some big games if he intends to make an improbable run at the 12-year-old record.

Improbable, yes.

But definitely not impossible.

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